What Happens to Your Plastic Bottles After Recycling? Unveiling the Recycling Journey

What Happens to Your Plastic Bottles After Recycling? Unveiling the Recycling Journey

Life is so much easier with plastic bottles. They’re light, easy to grip, robust, and challenging to break. Plastic bottles are the best way to store and transport a wide range of liquids, from water and soft drinks to oil, household cleaners, and baby formula. Many materials used to package your favourite consumer goods can be recycled multiple times. What happens to your recycling as it moves from your shopping basket to your cart and back to your shopping basket? Some are recycled at a Calgary recycling depot or nearby and repurposed into entirely different items, such as furniture, automobile bumpers, or shelves.

In this article, we will explore the steps of plastic recycling at a bottle depot Calgary loves or where you live.

The Journey Of Plastic Recycling

After being discarded by consumers, these bottles are collected from various locations and transported to a bottle return Calgary recommends (or other regions). Here, they undergo meticulous sorting to remove non-recyclable materials, followed by categorization into specific types of recyclables. The sorted plastics are then baled together, ready for the next phase. The product’s life cycle is completed when many materials, such as paper goods and plastic bottles, are recycled and used again for their initial purpose.

Here’s the detailed process

  1. Step One: Collected At The Curb From Bottle Depots

When you place your materials at the curb, take them to a multi-family recycling facility or bring them to a Calgary recycling depot or where you live. A specialized truck collects them by carrying your packaging and paper to the next stage. These vehicles are intended for efficient collection. Some models have automated arms, compaction mechanisms, and the capacity to gather waste in separate compartments.

  1. Step Two: Taken To A Center For Material Recovery (MRF)

A material recovery facility (MRF) can receive materials by either unsorted or sorted route. Glass is sorted when collected to keep it from getting dirty. The materials are moved all at once and put on a conveyor belt. From there, they are sorted.

  1. Step Three: Material Is Sorted

The recyclable materials are transported along a series of conveyor belts, where non-recyclable items are manually removed first at a bottle depot in Calgary or nearby. The process is then repeated using equipment such as rotating drum screens, magnetic separators, optical sorters, and air classifiers to separate the various materials into their designated categories.

  1. Step Four: Similar Materials Are Bundled Together

Materials that have been sorted continue to move down conveyor belts to undergo a last quality control clean-up before arriving at their respective storage places as they have been sorted. Sorted materials may include plastic jugs, aluminum cans, steel cans, newspapers, and cardboard. They are then bundled together with other materials of a similar nature and prepared for shipment.

  1. Step Five: Recycled Into Raw Materials

Shipments to end markets and processing into new raw materials are made, and each sorted and baled commodity is ready. In addition to pelletizing or shredding, some materials are spun into fibre or ground into tiny particles. The producers then use these commodities as raw materials to create finished goods.


The journey of plastic bottles through recycling is intricate and vital for environmental sustainability. The transformation of these materials at a bottle return in Calgary (or nearby) into new raw forms, such as pellets, fibres, or fine particles, is crucial. This repurposing step ensures that the recycled plastics are ready to be integrated into new product cycles, demonstrating the potential for a closed-loop system in material use. This recycling journey not only gives plastic bottles a new life but also significantly reduces the environmental impact by minimizing waste and the need for new raw materials. The process exemplifies the importance and effectiveness of recycling in our modern world, reinforcing the need for continued and enhanced recycling efforts globally.